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International Observe the Moon Night 26th September 2020


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September 26 is International Observe the Moon Night. Our satellite will have plenty on display, from dark seas to bright craters and rugged mountains.

After last nights conjunction of Jupiter and this mornings conjunction of Saturn, you can still see the Moon near the two giant planets after dark this evening. Look up in a northward direction to find the Moon,  and all three are readily visible to the naked eye. Binoculars will reveal more detail, including Saturn’s rings and the Galilean moons of Jupiter.

With our satellite a well-lit waxing gibbous today, much of its terrain will be on display, as well as many of the Apollo landing sites. Several maria, or seas, appear as dark splotches against the brighter surrounding terrain. These darker areas never held water but are instead ancient lava flows, left over from when our Moon was much younger. Their relatively smooth floors made them ideal targets for manned landings. Easily visible tonight are Mare Serenitas, Mare Tranquillitatis, Mare Crisium, Mare Fecunditatis, and Mare Nectaris. Just peeking out from the terminator is Mare Imbrium, bordered by the rugged Apennine mountains, named after the mountain range in Italy.

Attached is a southern hemisphere moon map to help you conduct your own guided tour. Please feel free to reply if you have a something to say about the moon, or if you need help finding the references on the map. Or start a new topic if you have a question on another aspect of the night sky.

Moon_Map_2020_Southern.pdf

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